THE AUSTRALIAN TOP ENDCape York and Arnhem Land
Our expedition across the Tip of Australia offers an immersion into the diverse and ancient Indigenous cultures of remote Cape York, Arnhem Land and the Torres Strait Islands.
On this small ship voyage into prehistoric landscapes, learn about the song-lines and lore that shaped these ancient cultures, allowing your expert guides to interpret your surroundings including the world’s oldest rock art that shows depictions of extinct animals and tells that stories of seafarers long before British colonisation. You will learn how generations have passed down artistic traditions, and how this important cultural legacy is flourishing at world-renown art centres in Yirrkala and Nhulunbuy. Watch Elders share their story through art at Maningrida before sailing to secluded Lizard Island where you will snorkel in azure waters over giant clam gardens and stroll over the white sand beaches of Watsons Bay before taking a tour of Australia Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station, globally recognised as a world-leading research facility on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Cape York and Arnhem Land expedition is a fascinating tapestry that immerses keen explorers in the very best of Australia’s northern coastline.
Guests onboard will explore some of the finest locations of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, enjoy sunrise at the very ‘Tip of Australia’ at Cape York, before venturing into the remote Arnhem Land Coast and the rarely visited Tiwi Islands. Join us aboard Coral Discoverer in Cairns for a remarkable 11-night voyage of discovery to Darwin, visiting otherwise inaccessible locations and developing a rich understanding of the culture of the traditional owners of the Torres Strait and Arnhem Land.
At the start of your expedition, choose to swim and snorkel in the clear tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Explore the northern reef and tour the fascinating Lizard Island Research Station to learn how scientists are preserving the reef for future generations. Savour a glass of champagne as the sun rises over the northern ‘Tip of Australia’ on Cape York Peninsula and discover the fascinating history of the Torres Strait Islands.
As you travel west, you’ll meet artists who have exhibited in galleries around the world, and visit remote art centres. You’ll learn of the Macassan sailors of the 17th century as we cruise the Arnhem Land coast, and experience the warm hospitality of the rarely-visited Tiwi Islanders as they share their ancient culture and traditional lifestyles with us.
Your cruise price includes:
- 11 night Expedition Voyage from Cairns to Darwin aboard Coral Discoverer
- Expert Expedition Team, including Marine Biologists and Guest Lecturers, and a local Parks & Wildlife Guide
- Daily guided excursions on the Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels
- All meals throughout your cruise, Australian cuisine prepared fresh in our galley
- Showcase wines and selected beer, as well as soft drinks, with lunch and dinner service
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with our Captain
- 24 hour coffee and selection of teas
- Use of all onboard facilities, including reference library
- Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each port
PLUS! Ultimate Cruising guests also receive:
- Chauffeur driven luxury car transfers to/from your nearest airport (within 35km)
A 35-year-old Australian pioneering expedition cruise company, Coral Expeditions operate and manage a fleet of four small expedition ships taking guests to some of the most beautiful, yet undiscovered, regions of Australia, Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Islands. Over 8,000 travellers from all over the world travel with Coral Expeditions every year who are attracted by the relaxed small ship atmosphere and itineraries which larger ships cannot replicate. The bespoke operations may sometimes not be commercially justifiable but result in a more personal product that guests appreciate.
At a time when the cruise industry is moving to larger and less personal ships, Coral Expeditions has limited the size of their ships to maximise the expedition experience. Their small-batch cuisine is freshly prepared onboard with a simplistic and generous approach to quality and freshness, accompanied by quality Australian wine. Coral Expeditions operate to high Australian standards of safety with Australian crew wherever they go. They were the first to offer interpretive programs reflective of the destinations they visit and to employ Expedition Leaders, Guest Lecturers, Marine Biologists, and SCUBA Instructors – a tradition that continues today.
Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast, and venture into the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkelling or take a walk along the white sand beach. The more energetic may join our guides on a walk to ‘Cook’s Look’ on the island’s peak and the highest lookout on this part of the reef. From this high point, Captain Cook was able to navigate a safe passage back through the treacherous waters after repairing the HMB Endeavour near Cooktown over 250 years ago. A photographer’s delight, the views from the lookout over the World Heritage-listed reef and surrounding tropical islands are magnificent.
FLINDERS GROUP AND DAVIE REEF
Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group and view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art depicting the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkelling and observe the large seabird rookery.
Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming or snorkelling from the pristine sandy beaches. Take a walk to the grave of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster.
Go ashore at the northernmost point of the Australian continent as the sun rises, and sip champagne to welcome the new day.
THE TORRES STRAIT ISLANDS
Anchoring at Thursday Island, learn about the historic pearling fleet and the cultural differences between the Torres Strait and Aboriginal peoples. You may also visit other Torres Strait islands, such as Badu or Moa.
CRUISING THE GULF OF CARPENTARIA
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with time to attend informative presentations by our guest lecturers.
HOLE IN THE WALL AND WESSEL ISLANDS
We travel through the narrow channel between Raragala and Guluwuru Islands, known as the ‘Hole in the Wall’.
ELCHO ISLAND: GALIWIN’KU AND GAWA
The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome us to their community this morning. Meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world including the Louvre.
In the afternoon, visit the community and school of Gawa.
Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River and travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Centre, museum, and the local boutique, where hand-painted textiles can be purchased.
Discover Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula. Join Park Rangers in Port Essington, famous for the failed Victoria Settlement, and explore the ruins while learning about the fascinating history of this early colonial outpost.
Visit remote Bathurst Island. With local Tiwi guides, we learn of the unique culture and visit the art centre. Be welcomed with a cultural performance and basket-weaving exhibition before enjoying a traditional Australian afternoon tea of damper and billy tea.
Departure Dates and Pricing
Cruise departs Cairns 03 April 2022 (SOLD OUT)
Pricing starts at A$11,990 per person share twin. Prices are in Australian Dollars and subject to change at any time. Please ask us for best available pricing at time of booking.
- Luxury Expedition
- Soft Adventure
- Solo Traveller
- Shore Excursions
MORNING AT LEISURE
EMBARK L'AUSTRAL THIS AFTERNOON
- Tonnage 1779
- Crew 24
- Capacity 72
- Length 63M
- Luxury Expeditions
- Soft Adventures
Fully equipped with latest technology active stabilizers, modern safety and navigation equipment, tender vessel that can seat all 72 passengers, an Australian and New Zealand crew, Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Images courtesy of Coral Expeditions
Solo Traveller Friendly